NASA May Have Found Lost Lunar Probe
Lunar Orbiter 2 crashed on dark side of the moon
By Kevin Spak, Newser User
Posted Jul 28, 2011 10:52 AM CDT
This 1967 from Lunar Orbiter 2 was dubbed the "picture of the century" when it was taken. It shows an oblique view of the Copernicus crater.   (NASA)

(Newser) – NASA may have found a lost spaceship on the dark side of the moon. The Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter, a ship designed to map the surface of the moon, has spotted a butterfly-shaped pattern that Fox News speculates might be the probe’s predecessor, the Lunar Orbiter 2. The craft, launched in 1967, sent back a photo of the lunar surface that was then hailed as the “picture of the century” before NASA intentionally crashed the orbiter on the dark side of the moon.

The butterfly shape could be that ship, or it could have been caused by a comet. “The impact appears much too large (about 85 meters in diameter) to be the result of an impact from a spacecraft only a few meters tall,” says one scientist who is studying the images, but he's not entirely sure that diameter is accurate. “We are currently re-targeting the area under a higher incidence angle to help with crater rim measurements. Stay tuned!” So in other words, there’s still hope it contains Transformers...

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Showing 3 of 8 comments
scott-houghton
Aug 3, 2011 11:07 AM CDT
There is no dark side of the moon because the moon oscillates, so the Earth spins around revealing a different patch of moon every so often. It's hard to explain. The term is called "Libration".
AstroDude
Jul 28, 2011 5:31 PM CDT
Pink Floyd fans: There is no dark side of the moon. There is a near side and a far side - the moon is tidally locked with Earth, so its orbital period and its rotational period are identical. Good album, though.
vapidvortex
Jul 28, 2011 1:06 PM CDT
They found it alright. North northeast of Yuma Arizona.